FORT CHIPEWYAN — A Canadian reserve military unit is mourning the loss of comrades who were on a hunting trip in the wilds of northeastern Alberta.
RCMP say the body of Walter Ladouceur, 42, of Fort Chipewyan was recovered Sunday from the Rocher River.
Police and volunteers are continuing the search and recovery operation for three other men who haven’t been seen for a week.
Ladouceur and two of the men who are still missing were members of a unit that operates in remote areas that aren’t normally covered by the Armed Forces.
“A black mourning band is added to the crest of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group today as a sign of mourning of the loss of three of our brother Canadian Rangers,” says the unit’s Facebook page.
“A very sad and incredibly difficult time indeed. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those lost. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”
The four men left on a hunting trip on April 23 to an area known as Devil’s Gate north Fort Chipewyan.
Their boat was found on the river which flows through Wood Buffalo National Park.
RCMP, Parks Canada and volunteers scoured the area with the help of helicopters, a dog team, scuba divers and boats equipped with sonar to search beneath the surface of the river.
Andrew Ladouceur and Keith Marten, both members of the Ranger Patrol, have not been located.
The military said the men were on their own time when they began the hunting trip.
“We are absolutely devastated across the unit,” Lt.-Col. Russ Meades, commander of the patrol group, told CTV News.
“When we lose brother Rangers, it is felt very, very deeply indeed.”
The 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group operates in the four western provinces.
The fourth missing hunter has been identified as Keanan Cardinal.